Messi, Ronaldo, Villa: Which player scored the most goals for club & country in each year?

Lionel Messi is one of the greatest goalscorers in history

Lionel Messi's record of 91 goals in a calendar year is one we cannot see being broken for at least another century.

The little genius achieved the feat back in 2012 and that outrageous number means he found the back of the net for Barcelona and Argentina at a rate of once every four days.

It really is one of the greatest sporting feats in history and the 91-goal masterpiece is also far from the only time Messi has topped the charts in terms of goals scored for club and country combined over the course of a full year.

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar has done so on four separate occasions in the 21st century, the same number of times as fellow Ballon d'Or hoarder, Cristiano Ronaldo.

Transfermarkt have provided the numbers for the top dog in each of the 21 completed years since the turn of the millenium over on their official Instagram page.

So, let's take a look at them in all of their glory...

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2000

Andriy Shevchenko | AC Milan & Ukraine

Games: 50

Goals: 42

2001

Raul Gonzalez | Real Madrid & Spain

Games: 67

Goals: 46

2002

Ruud van Nistelrooy | Manchester United & Holland

Games: 55

Goals: 36

Van Nistelrooy with Man Utd

2003

Ruud van Nistelrooy | Manchester United & Holland

Games: 58

Goals: 48

2004

Thierry Henry | Arsenal & France

Games: 66

Goals: 46

2005

Luca Toni | Fiorentina & Italy

Games: 50

Goals: 38

Toni with Fiorentina

2006

David Villa | Valencia & Spain

Games: 57

Goals: 35

2007

Robbie Keane | Tottenham Hotspur & Republic of Ireland

Games: 58

Goals: 34

2008

David Villa | Valencia & Spain

Games: 58

Goals: 41

Villa with Spain

2009

David Villa | Valencia & Spain

Games: 54

Goals: 43

2010

Lionel Messi | Barcelona & Argentina

Games: 64

Goals: 60

2011

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid & Portugal

Games: 60

Goals: 60

Ronaldo with Real Madrid in 2011

2012

Lionel Messi | Barcelona & Argentina

Games: 69

Goals: 91

2013

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid & Portugal

Games: 59

Goals: 69

2014

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid & Portugal

Games: 60

Goals: 61

Ronaldo with Real Madrid in 2014

2015

Cristiano Ronaldo | Real Madrid & Portugal

Games: 57

Goals: 57

2016

Lionel Messi | Barcelona & Argentina

Games: 62

Goals: 59

2017

Harry Kane | Tottenham Hotspur & England

Games: 52

Goals: 56

Kane with Spurs

2018

Lionel Messi | Barcelona & Argentina

Games: 54

Goals: 51

2019

Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich & Poland

Games: 58

Goals: 54

2020

Robert Lewandowski | Bayern Munich & Poland

Games: 44

Goals: 47

Lewandowski with Bayern

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Until 2010, no player had scored 60 or more goals in a calendar year - and then Messi and Ronaldo happened.

The former has surpassed that mammoth number twice, while the latter produced the goods in three different 12-month periods.

Rather surprisingly, Villa is the only other player to take top spot on three or more occasions, which further highlights what an underrated legend of the sport he is.

Quiz: Can you name the footballer based on their Wikipedia page?

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Wikipedia Page No.1

Who moved from Barcelona to Real Madrid in 2000?

Van Nistelrooy and Lewandowski are the other men to finish first multiple times, the iconic strikers both doing so twice.

Although, Lewandowski is almost nailed on to join the exclusive 'three or more club' after his superhuman-like goalscoring exploits in 2021.

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